Big Red Report: I hear congratulations are in order
BRR: First question and the most obvious: What made you pick the big red?
WC: The academics there are amazing.
The academic all-Americans are way ahead of everyone else. Notre Dame is a far
second. Notre Dame has 170-something and
And then the coaches, most definitely Kevin Cosgrove, he's been the best so far. And when I got on the phone with Coach (Bill) Callahan, he was just really excited and he's just going to be great over the next few years. And recruiting-wise, I have spoke with everybody and I have had a good relationship with Blaine Gabbert, a really good relationship with him.
I did talk with Robert Steeples
and Andrew Jones (
BRR: I remember seeing you down at
WC: Coach Cosgrove had seen some clips of me and I guess from that he liked what he saw and they actually wanted to get a highlight film of me. And I don't know what happened, whether it got lost in the mail or whatever, but he said that they loved my attitude so much, they just went ahead and offered me.
So, that's how it started and as the year went on, he just got on board (with his recruiting) and there was never a quiet time during the day.
BRR: Aside from so many of the really
important things you are looking at such as academics, tradition, etc., I would
imagine that how much a school is recruiting you and wants you means a lot. Was
that a big deal for you when it came to
WC: Several schools were like that.
Coach Cosgrove would always tell me that I was number one, but I got that from a
lot of other schools too. That's what made it really hard to tell these other
coaches what I was going to do.
BRR: It's been well-chronicled that
WC: Oh yeah, that was huge. When you
Then there are schools that you
could have opportunities at that have been down for some time, where you could
play at early like
BRR: What does it mean to come in with such a stellar group of fellow linebackers?
WC: I love it. I have had a good relationship with Doug Rippy. I haven't gotten to talk to the others, but I am sure I will. I know that I am the only one recruited as a "WILL." The rest are all being recruited at "SAM" or like with Rippy, the SAM or "MIKE."
BRR: Describe yourself as a linebacker
WC: What I bring best is my athleticism and speed - by far. Of course, if you are a Division 1 recruit, you better be, but I think I definitely have that. And I am a really good leader. I am always talking and I want everything to go perfect. But I think my athleticism is the big thing.
In high school I am more of an offensive threat than I am defensive. I just feel that and my 4.5/40 speed are just big for me. I played safety and even though we knew I'd be a linebacker in college, they just used me like that, because I could get all over the field.
That's what Brian Urlacher did in college. He was a safety. I mold myself after him, because he was real athletic and he brought back real speed to the linebacker position.
BRR: Just to illustrate your defensive mentality, what goes through your mind when you get a wide-open shot on a ball-carrier who doesn't see you coming?
WC: (laughing) What goes through your mind is that I'm about ready to make an eye-popping play – something that is like top 10 ESPN or something like that. Pretty much, that running back is about to get hurt.
BRR: This is the inevitable question
and it stems from what is a known affection for Notre Dame. We had actually
talked about that down at
WC: I'm done. They held off (offering) for a really long time. Yeah, they were my dream school. That's where I wanted to go after I went to their camp last year. It was awesome and even now I know I will always be a fan of Notre Dame. But holding off that long, and feeling like you are a rebound player for them, and the guys they are looking at ahead of you, I don't think are clearly better than I am – I just kept losing interest in them. I don't see them getting into the picture at all.
BRR: Even before you committed to
WC: You hit the nail on the head. You
got it right. It was just a matter of time before I convinced myself that it was
going to be a done deal and I was going to officially say I was going to
BRR: Now that you are officially a
commit, there's going to be players you are going to go Blaine Gabbert on as far
as drilling them about going to
BRR: How can a human text that much?
WC: Oh my Gosh, I have to delete my box almost three times a day I bet.
BRR: OK, so who is the player or who
are the players you have eyed as the ones you have to get to
BRR: How many offers did you end up with?
WC: Over 20 I think
BRR: Describe your visit to
WC: Unbelievable. First, you are driving down the road, you see the school in front of you, the flags waving and the five national titles, you are thinking that this is going to be sweet.
Then you walk in and you get that
BRR: It's still a long ways away, but
think ahead to your first year at
WC: Coming in with an early opportunity
would be great. If I get in there early, people see me play, I get the
experience and after all that, you just have to think big. You think big-time
once that happens. You think of life after college. You think about the league.
With an opportunity like this at a place like
We'd like to thank Will for
taking the time out of his day to do this interview with Big Red